Every year 21st September is observed as the World Alzheimer’s Day. Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI) Bangalore Chapter has been observing this day through various meaningful programs for several years to create awareness about Alzheimer’s disease, remove stigma attached to it, build appropriate support systems and advocate for the rights of those who are afflicted to continue to work towards making Bangalore a Dementia-friendly city.
Presently, there are 4 million people living with Alzheimer’s in India. Alzheimer’s not only affects the person suffering but also the immediate dependants accounting for an additional 12 million people.
In the West, research and policy development has become a health care priority. This is not the case in India. The cost and burden of care falls entirely on the family. It is important that we spread information about the disease and work together with the people, government and corporates to pave way for an Alzheimer’s friendly community and a social solution to this problem.
On September 25, more than 300 morning walkers, volunteers and supporters gathered at Cubbon Park Band Stand to participate in the campaign Battle to ‘Remember’: A Step towards Dementia-Friendly Bangalore. Organized by Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI) Bangalore Chapter along with Nightingales Medical Trust (NMT) and National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), the event marked the closure of the World Alzheimer’s Month observed worldwide during the month of September.
The campaign was aimed at bringing together middle-aged and senior citizens from the city and awakening their interests in preventive measures that can be incorporated in their lifestyles to minimize the risk of dementia and living a healthy and long life. The campaign that started at 8 am with a free session on geriatric yoga organized by NIMHANS followed by active ageing session and challenge your brain games by NMT culminating into street play on Alzheimer’s disease, also focused upon the importance of reviving ancient Indian games that help in training and exercising the brain. The purpose of the campaign was to make Bangalore a dementia-friendly city by 2020.
The event was graced by Dr Ramachandran Biari and Dr Sajjan from the Department of Health and Family Welfare and was finally concluded with a memory walk with participants eager to take home awareness messages about Alzheimer’s disease.